To store knives in my kitchen, I’ve been looking for knife block alternatives lately, ever since I read that you’re supposed to deep-clean your knife block about once a month to keep nasty bacteria from growing in those dark, cool knife slots. Yeah, I didn’t think about that either. And to be honest, no way does this mom have time to be cleaning out knife block slots in my regular routine.

That said, I would kind of appreciate knowing that my knives are not totally disgusting when I go to slice up some carrots I’m about to hand to my kids.

I’ve been washing my knives just before I use them, but I’ve been searching for some better, longer-term, hopefully less bacteria-laden solutions for to storing knives than a knife block.

And hey, some even make my kitchen look more like it came out of the pages of a magazine. (As long as you crop out the piles of bills and kid crafts stashed all over my countertops.)

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Related: 7 cool ways to care for knives and store them properly

Knife block alternatives: The beautiful milk paint wall-mounted knife block from Peg & Awl at Food 52

When I think of magnetic knife blocks, my first thought is a wall mounted version like this one (shown in use up at top). But the exclusive milk-paint finish on this maple and brass wall-mounted knife mount at Food52 is anything but average. It comes in two sizes, depending on how many knives — or family heirloom kitchen tools — you want to display on your wall.


Better ways to store knives: Magnetic block from Henckels

I’m the type who likes to rearrange my kitchen — and okay, all the rooms of my house — regularly, so I admit I have a fear of commitment of attaching a knife block to a wall. As an alternative way to store knives, this magnetic block from Henckels is a good option for people like me. It sits right on your counter top like a traditional knife block, without any of the gross buildup and hard-to-clean-slats. (But, of course, go ahead and give this one a quick wipe down when you’re cleaning the kitchen, too.)


Related: 5 foods you should never wash, plus 3 you always should!

Better ways to store knives: A Messermeister knife roll at Sur La Table

Stick with me here: using a chef’s knife roll like this Messermeister roll from Sur la Table isn’t a traditional way to store knives at home, but it’s the way pro chefs do it.  Here’s why I actually love it for parents; you can wrap your sharp blades up in one small, portable package, then store them high above the kitchen counter. Since my three-year-old has figured out how to pull a chair up to the cabinets and climb onto the counter, this is probably a better option for me than storying knives in a knife block or even up on the wall (unless we go really high). But this knife roll, stashed away in a cabinet above the microwave, might be my best option. Plus, it’s super affordable. Yay!